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Sentencing Act review unconvincing

Hon. Tony Ryall MP
National Law & Order spokesman

6 September 2004

Sentencing Act review unconvincing

The Government's review of the Sentencing Act is unconvincing and highlights major deficiencies in Labour's approach to crime, says National's Law and Order spokesman, Tony Ryall.

"High-profile cases may be getting a couple of years longer, but these criminals can apply for parole after only one-third of their sentence," Mr Ryall says. "A rapist sentenced to nine years can be out in three.

"National will abolish parole for repeat and violent offenders.

"The report also notes that minimum periods of imprisonment are shorter under Labour's version of preventive detention. The minimum non-parole period was cut from 10 years to five years by Mr Goff.

"Huge amounts of reparation remain uncollected, with the debt growing daily. Major reforms are needed to improve collection.

"Other sentences such as community work remain a joke, with fewer than 40% of offenders turning up as required.

"This report details figures for only the first year of operation. They do not take into account the liberal parole policies introduced at the same time.

"Dr Brash has foreshadowed changes that National will make, particularly to parole, preventive detention, and penal policy," Mr Ryall says.


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